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Battle Creek, MI 49015
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Ronald Darlington

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Ronald Darlington Obituary
Ronald K. Darlington

Battle Creek

The brothers and sisters of Ronald Kenneth Darlington, 56, of Battle Creek sadly report that he died Thursday, October 2, 2014 at home after a year-long battle with cancer.  We were not surprised that Ron died just as he lived his life quietly, without fanfare or regret.  Ron was a gentle and humble man who taught us how to live our very best life even in the face of death. When asked by doctors what he did before becoming sick he would simply say, "I was a truck driver."  Ron was so much more.                                    

The first born son of Ronald and Dolores (Stephens) Darlington was born December 28, 1957 in Battle Creek, MI.                 

Ron's love of travel and adventure showed its self early when he and Butch Vaughn hitch hiked to and from California before their senior year of high school. We wondered how our parents could let him go and they wondered how they could stop him!

He graduated from St. Philip High School in 1976. Ron worked his way through college earning a degree in Russian Studies from Grand Valley State University. He was the first college graduate in his family and set the tone for the rest of us.  Our father, a laborer at Post Cereals and mother a homemaker were proud but not surprised because Ron's self motivation and determination were attributes that he demonstrated even as a small child.

Ronald proudly served in the United States Army Reserve for 6 years. He attended the Skilled Linguist Program in Monterey California and Texas as a linguist, where he intercepted, translated and relayed sensitive communications to Army intelligence. A man of few words himself, we learned to listen to him and take his advice on the rare times it was offered. A man of humble means his sound suggestions and support encouraged us to travel, purchase homes, attain jobs and financial security that we would not have had without his advice. 

After the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990's Ron worked for the Bechtel Corporation for several years; translating between the Russian and American workers who were  building the new American Embassy in Moscow. This allowed him travel throughout Europe as well as China and Thailand.            

 Ron became a father at the age of 40 to Nicholas. Ron was never happier or more content than when he and Nick were together. He was employed as a truck driver for Behnke Trucking for many years. This allowed him the flexibility to be there for his son.

He was a former Battle Creek City Commissioner and a member of the Cereal City Sunrise Rotary Club.

He is survived by his children, Nicholas Darlington and Anna Sadovskaya; mother, Dolores Darlington; special friend and companion, Tracy Sherwood; brothers, John (Barbara) Darlington, Richard (Donna) Darlington; sisters, Nanette Brown and Lorraine (Paul) Swafford. Ronald was preceded in death by his father in 2002.

It is important to note that the last three years of Ron's life were his very best! Ron met Tracy because of their shared interest in genealogy. While searching for his past he found his future in Tracy. We are so grateful that Tracy understood him and loved him unconditionally. He was never angry about the cancer only sad that his life would end just when it was so wonderful and he was so happy. Tracy has been a blessing for us all.  Also, a special thank you to Matt Bush who walked this journey with Ron. You taught us all how to be a better friend.

A memorial service will take place at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October, 11, 2014 at Shaw Funeral Home, 2838 Capital Avenue, S.W. with Deacon Al Patrick, officiating.

Memorial contributions may go to Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center.

The family is being served by Shaw Funeral Home.


Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from Oct. 4 to Oct. 5, 2014
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